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Searching For Jobs in Miami-Dade FL

Employment, much like everything in Miami, is not like it is anywhere else in the country. Provided you speak Spanish.
April 18, 2007 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 33 Comments

From the Miami Relocation Guide.

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Upon your arrival in South Florida, it will be of utter importance that you find employment as quickly as possible. While in many cities this is a daunting task, even to the most qualified people, Miami has a unique set of obstacles to searching for and finding employment that you must consider. You see, employment, much like everything in Miami, is not like it is anywhere else in the country. While some may compare us to Las Vegas in our over-abundance of service industry jobs, or to LA with our over abundance of aspiring-somethings working in said service industry, Miami actually has a bustling business community with jobs that have little to do with trafficking cocaine, corrupting government officials or murder.

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The cocaine boom of the 1980’s brought us countless banks and finance jobs. Construction is going up everywhere and Miami is also home to various cruise lines, Spainsh television networks and marketing firms. And in a city known for old people and excessive partying, there will always be endless jobs in health care. No matter what your industry, Miami has a job for you. Provided you speak Spanish.

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This is not to say that non-Spanish speakers can’t get jobs, quite the contrary. It is just to say that your chances are exponentially higher of landing the job you want if you can converse with all of the clients and customers you deal with. And this means being fully bilingual. Miami is the capital of Latin America and most companies who do large amounts of business here cater to that particular market. So you’d better brush up on your Espanol if you haven’t already or you may be searching for longer than you had anticipated. Or end up taking a job in our ever-present service industry.  And even there you would be well served to take some night classes at Miami-Dade.

YOU ARE NEVER TOO GOOD TO BE A WAITER

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As I said before, when you first move here to South Florida you should find some sort of employment as soon as possible. Because this town will suck money from your wallet faster than anywhere not called “New York.” The one advantage we have over a lot of cities is a vast amount of temporary employment in this field especially during tourist season. There is no shame in doing this as turnover in the industry is immensely high and it frees up time for you to go out and look for your “real job.” Finding a position in a restaurant is as easy as walking up and down Lincoln Road filling out applications at the 750 restaurants it features, or cruising Ocean Drive applying at roughly 200 more. If you are not hired on the spot, don’t bother going back. They will never remember who you are or why you are there. Just keep on going until somebody hires you on.

After you have secured a temporary position that will at least pay half your FPL bill for the month, it is time to look for a job in your chosen field. If your Spanish is severely lacking and you are not dead set on working in Miami, I would highly suggest looking for employment north of the County Line in Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale). Not only are companies there less absorbed by Latin American clientele, your chances of being interviewed by a more favorable interviewer are much, much higher. You can still live in North Dade in cities like Aventura or Sunny Isles and your commute will be no worse than it would be if you worked in Doral or Downtown.

SO YOU’RE NOT SPENDING MORE TIME IN YOUR CAR THAN YOU ARE AT WORK

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The first thing to look at when applying for a job is its location. If you have secured an apartment already and did not read my previous “Guide to Where to Live” you have no doubt found somewhere in the Northwest or Southwest triple digits thus ensuring an unbearable commute should you work anywhere other than these areas. The one thing you never want to do is work east and live west. Or live south of downtown and work downtown or north. Or live in North Dade or Broward and work downtown. These are the traffic patterns that will drive you insane and force you to leave the city. I suggest you find a job first and then move to minimize you commute. Otherwise the location of your job should be a major factor when considering whether or not to take said position. (see: map)

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Like most cities, we have a great many resources to help you find work. There are the obvious like Monster.com and CareerBuilder. There are also the classic standbys The Miami Herald classifieds and New Times for those who are less computer-savvy (see: All of Dade County). If you are in the healthcare field, the Baptist network of hospitals have extensive job listings at each of their locations, and many large companies based here list openings on their websites. Much of this depends on the industry in which you work, but if you know there is a large company in that particular industry (for instance Univision if you work in TV) check their website for jobs.

You will, again, notice that a large percentage of ads say “Bilingual preferred,” which means “Bilingual Required unless you are related to the owner.” In which case English becomes optional. Do not be discouraged if your Spanish is not terrific, however. You can be hired in this city without speaking two languages. Just ask anyone at Publix. You may want to be cognizant of this fact when you begin to send out resumes. Anything you have done that involves Spanish or Latin America should be included near the top. So if you took one semester of Spanish in High School, be damn sure to include in in your resume. Worked with Spanish-speaking warehouse workers in your first job? “Conquered several complex language barriers while interacting with crucial personnel in a busy shipping/receiving facility.” Built latrines in El Salvador the summer after you sophomore year? “Helped to further develop the lives of Latin American people.” Got in a fight with the deli guy when he didn’t understand how to say 3/8 of a pound in English? “Constantly striving to improve business relations with Latin America.” Whatever you can do to make yourself look more Latinized is going to put you way ahead of all the other overeducated Americans looking for work in paradise.

So while you may be frustrated and not know where to begin looking for work when you get to Miami, do not be overwhelmed. Make sure you secure some sort of temporary employment that allows you to look for “real” jobs during the day so you can afford what will assuredly be a triple-digit power bill. Then make sure your Spanish is solid and start searching the newspaper, the internet and the post boards at many local companies. It may take a while, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be getting calls for interviews in no time. Just don’t be surprised if the people calling talk to you in Spanish.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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33 Comments on

"Searching For Jobs in Miami-Dade FL"

chp says:

Knowledge of the Spanish language is not nearly as important as you make it seem.

I do agree with your view that Spanish fluency is important if one wants to get a career job with a company or branch of a multi-national that primarily interacts Latinoamerican/Spanish speaking clients. 

But, just think of all the retail jobs where this doesn’t matter, for instance. I know this from experience, as a string of retail jobs supported me for my first year in Miami Beach.

I found that in retail and hospitality managers want their employees to be able to communicate very well in English since the majority of customers do expect this.
In addition to all the American tourists, the European and Asian tourists expect English (since we are located in the US).

Speaking Spanish is absolutely not a prerequisite for becoming employed in Miami.

Posted on 04/18/2007 at 11:12 AM

Me says:

I agree Spanish is important to the Latin community Americas language is English.

Posted on 04/20/2007 at 9:41 AM

Miami Fl Realtor says:

“The one thing you never want to do is work east and live west. Or live south of downtown and work downtown or north. Or live in North Dade or Broward and work downtown.”

HUGE right there. Traffic is a mess if you don’t follow that advice.

Posted on 04/20/2007 at 5:17 PM

john says:

u meant to speak spanish or to be spanish? my friend’s last name is rodriguez third generation cuban , he speaks zero spanish, but he gets hired all the time just because of his name…i think they call that :reverse discrimination…lol

Posted on 09/26/2007 at 9:14 PM

michelinha says:

What is the range for a studio or one bedroom apartment in Miami? What are the best areas to live?

Posted on 03/22/2008 at 10:44 PM

jonathan says:

hello im a neiborg in the miami beach area and im interested ti find a job related to the city hall or either the police as customer service , clerk, im bilingual english spanish and i have a lot of experience in hotels industries but i want to change for some thing new , can you let me know how and when can i apply and what are the conditions ok thank you

Posted on 10/27/2008 at 4:01 PM

George says:

what about getting a job without papers?? is it possible??

Posted on 11/03/2008 at 6:58 PM

Gus says:

George, what kind of job are you looking for, and whereabouts in Miami do you want to work?

Finding a job without papers is possible, but it gets more difficult the more legitimate the company you’re applying at.

Posted on 11/03/2008 at 7:45 PM

George says:

Im planning to move to Miami with my wife, hoping to find a Job with salary enough to pay all my bills. Actually, I used to live there 8 years ago, but I was studing university, now I’m trying to move but not for study purposes, this time is a Job what I’m looking for, I’m mexican, that’s why I asked about the difficulty in trying to find a good option for people like me, any comments will appreciate. Thank you.

Posted on 11/03/2008 at 8:22 PM

George says:

Any kind of job that lets me live there will be good enough for me and my wife. All we want is a new start, new job, new friends, and new opportunities.

Posted on 11/03/2008 at 8:26 PM

Gus says:

Restaurants are a good place to work, but most of the fine dining spots will ask for papers…as will most of the upscale hotels.

You may find some of the work-related discussion in our Relocation Forum helpful. Here’s the link:

http://forums.miamibeach411.com/index.php?/forums/viewforum/34/

Your welcome to join us and ask as many questions as you like.

Posted on 11/04/2008 at 7:07 AM

Muvi says:

I luckily stumbled into this website. I am new to the US and my first town is Miami. I Joined my wife here from London. I hard culture shock when I first arrived, but after 10 months here, I am beginning to adjust, I found your advice sensible and great. I will keep reading and learning as it can be key to being successful. Although, the fact that Miami is 95% Spanish community, first was disappointing to me, but I am trying to make the best out of it. Keep up the good work of educating new migrants.

Posted on 11/21/2008 at 9:56 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Thank you for thanking me. Its always nice when someone new to the area validates what I have to say. People think its a gross exaggeration, but as youve seen, its pretty accurate.

Posted on 11/23/2008 at 6:50 PM

romil says:

Knowledge of the Spanish language is important as you make it seem. But as I think before deciding for the job you have to prepare Resume.

Posted on 02/14/2009 at 9:04 AM

Patricia Milochevitch says:

I have been looking for work in Miami for 2 months now, I have been sending and sending resume .... sometimes 6 to 8 a day, through Website, and never get any answers… Although I am qualified.  It is definitely not easy to find a job here. Patricia.

Posted on 05/04/2009 at 10:15 PM

Olga says:

Hello. my name is Olga I am from Argentina and I would like to work in Miami. Could you tell me what do I have to do?

Posted on 05/25/2009 at 12:55 PM

Gus says:

Hi, Olga. Welcome to Miami Beach 411.

I love Argentia. As a matter of fact, I proposed to my wife there.

The best place to find work is at Craigslist.com.

Have you visited our forum yet? We have a category for relocating and finding work.

You should also try searching our site for the type of job you’re looking for.

Posted on 05/25/2009 at 1:01 PM

Christian says:

It’s a disgrace that you need to know spanish while searching a job in Miami. It’s a part of the US and in America you speak english.

I’m about to start a business on SoBe and I will definetly not require my personel to speak spanish.

Posted on 05/29/2009 at 10:09 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

I agree with you 100%, Christian. But much as it saddens me to say it, if you don’t have employees who speak Spanish in Miami (not all your employees, but at least some) you will go out of business very quickly. Like it or not, Spanish-speakers have the money here.

And as another Miamian once said, “Once you get the money, that’s when you get the power.”

I’m not a fan of ever speaking Spanish, but if it’s an issue of your business succeeding or failing, spiting Spanish speakers loses a lot of its luster.

Posted on 05/29/2009 at 11:05 PM

marie toniane ouanche says:

my name is marie toniane ouanche I am an high school student graduating in 2010 and I would like to find a job here in Miami.thank you.

Posted on 06/10/2009 at 5:38 PM

Luis Alberto Kondas says:

Hi Mr.Meltzer,I’ve in miami(kendall) to be exact for 3 months,where exactly are these restaurant jobs,specifically in Kendall,secondly if you have darker features do you know if that decreases my chances with these seemably stuck-up cubans?

Posted on 06/19/2009 at 4:39 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hello Luis -

Welcome! Please call me Matt.

If you cruise Kendall Drive, you have pretty much every chain restaurant on Earth there. Try all of those. Also, Dadeland Mall and The Falls Mall have a lot of restaurants as well.

Yes, being dark skinned will hurt you with Cubans, probably more than with Anglos. They can get away with more racism because they are still considered somewhat of a “minority” by American standards.I see a lot more blatant racism among Cubans than I do among whites.

Posted on 06/19/2009 at 8:36 PM

Süleyman says:

Hi
Im from Turkey. I want to work Miami. Im a turism photographer here in the hotels. But I want to work also in Miami hotels

Posted on 01/10/2010 at 11:30 AM

Anna says:

Dear Matt, I`m a simple Russian girl with no papers:) I`ve been in Miami for quite a time and am still trying to realize where I can find a job. Would you recommend some sites for such problematic people like me please…Can I consider working as a bartender for instance? Thank you

Posted on 01/25/2010 at 2:46 AM

Süleyman says:

Hi Mr.
  Im just a photographer. I want to work photoshop. Thats it. Thanks a lot.

Posted on 01/26/2010 at 10:06 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Without papers, it would be pretty hard to find a job anywhere. You need to work on getting a work visa before you do anything else, or life will be very difficult for you. There are places that hire illegals, but I don’t know of any websites or networks where those jobs would be posted.

Posted on 01/26/2010 at 2:34 PM

Zac says:

Hey Matt, Im a car salesman by trade, I’m not fluent in spanish whatsoever…took it in high school but didnt remember due to the fact i never had to use it, I made up my mind that im moving to florida…Where is the best place for a non bilingual car salesman to make good money near florida (miami beach,tampa,jacksonville etc.)? Will be moving here in 3-4 months and i hear the traffic is crazy, so id like to live where i work. I prefer the city “party/get money” mentality, not looking for quiet suburban neighborhood. can you help me out?

Posted on 04/19/2011 at 1:19 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hey Zac -

Nobody in Florida has the “get money” mentality except maybe a handful of rappers. Especially in South Florida, nobody really gives a shit what your job is or how much money you make. Or anything about you, really. It’s a super transient, self-centered place, so it’s not competitive at all.

The economy here has been shit the past few years, as bad as anywhere not called “Detroit,”  and I don’t know that new car sales have exactly been booming. That said, Miami has some of the highest volume dealerships in the nation, so money wise Miami might be your best bet. Yeah, traffic is shitty, and the big dealerships are mostly down in South Dade or up in North Broward. Aka far from anywhere you’d consider “fun” to live. If you’re willing to fight traffic, I’d say live in Brickell or Coconut Grove if you’re in Miami. Downtown Ft. Lauderdale if you’re in Broward.

Can’t speak much for Tampa. I’ve liked in the times I"ve been there.

Jacksonville is a Southern Shit Hole. Orlando is like a giant airport terminal. Nothing but chain restaurants and souvenir shops. Probably my least favorite major city in America.

Posted on 04/19/2011 at 5:37 PM

walt miller says:

I will be working at 425 NW27th (post office)  where should I live? will commute if I have to to live in a decent area

Posted on 07/07/2011 at 7:28 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Ah, just saw this. Yeah, Kendall won’t work for you then. Anywhere in midtown would work, though. Again, you’ll have to scale down your expectations (looking at a 1 BR in that range anywhere decent) but yeah, midtown would be a good option.

Posted on 07/09/2011 at 5:11 PM

Pete says:

Matt,

I am about the break the rule of living south of downtown (Coconut Gove) and working in Miami Lakes.  Luckily, I will have the flexibility to start work early and leave late, with a workout during the day.  If I am out of CG by 6:45 am, am I likely to beat traffic on I-95 N?  As for avoiding the Palmetto westbound, are there any “good” surface street alternatives?

Posted on 12/05/2011 at 1:32 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Pete, that shouldn’t be TOO horrendous if you leave at 6:45. Though 6:30 would probably be better. 95 north in the AM is against traffic, so the only shitty part will be sitting on US-1 to get to it. But at 6:30, it shouldn’t be awful.

The Palmetto Westbound isn’t terrible either, since you’re north of most of the folks headed to Doral and the Lakes form the Gables and downtown.  The side streets through there won’t be any better as there’s a ton of lights. I’d say just stick with your regular route and go early and you should be ok.

Getting home may be a serious bitch, though, as you’ll have to deal with the Golden Glades at Rush Hour. And by that I mean any time before about 7:30. If you’re talking about leaving around 8 or so it should be ok. But that means you’re spending 14 hours a day away from home. And at that point, why even live in the Grove?

Posted on 12/06/2011 at 6:14 PM

Usman Khan says:

Hello,

I am about to move in Miami in a month. I am an engineer and having 2 years work experience of a different country but I am willing to start working any job I get as I reach Miami. Can anyone guide me regarding jobs availability? Or anyone has any job????

Posted on 02/29/2016 at 2:41 AM

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